NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks to supporters at a rally Sunday morning at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks to supporters at a rally Sunday morning at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Election 2015: NDP leader rallies voters to ‘stop Harper’

NDP leader Tom Mulcair led a rally in Nanaimo on Sunday, repeating that his party is the only one that can stop the Conservatives.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair led a rally in Nanaimo, repeating that his party is the only one that can stop Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

About 750 supporters waving orange stop signs packed a ballroom at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Sunday morning to hear Mulcair speak.

Much of the NDP leader’s offensive targeted the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A New Democratic government will not be bound “by Stephen Harper’s secret deal…” said Mulcair. “If he’s so bloody proud of it, why won’t he show it to Canadians?”

Mulcair said the TPP will mean higher prescription drug costs, a loss of autonomy on environmental regulations and lost jobs in the automotive sector.

He said the timing, two weeks before the federal election, hampered Canada’s position at the bargaining table.

“It’s like trying to bluff your way through a poker game when everyone can see you’re only holding a pair of deuces. Mr. Harper had two weeks left to go, they all saw him coming. They knew he desperately needed a deal he wanted to announce,” Mulcair said.

Also at Sunday’s rally, the NDP leader expressed a desire for improved relations between the federal government and aboriginal people. He said if he becomes prime minister, he would wish for his legacy to be a “respectful, nation-to-nation approach” with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. He promised to establish, at the cabinet level, a committee chaired by the prime minister “that will ensure that every single thing our government does respects three things – treaty rights, inherent rights and Canada’s international obligations to our First People.”

Mulcair said the NDP is best positioned to bring change in government because it needs to win only 35 more seats in the House of Commons, whereas the Liberals would need to win 100 more. He asked NDPers to knock on every door and have conversations with every voter.

“Every single vote for change will make a difference and let’s make the Island orange,” he said.

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